Late Spring 2008

Dear Friends

So often our society feeds us the line ''He/She is a true hero.'' The word ''hero'' is applied to professional athletes, celebrities, or people who have gained notoriety for one reason or another. Rarely is it a ''true hero'' situation. If we look around our own lives, at our own friends, our own neighborhoods, there is where we can find the true, unsung, everyday heroes.

One of my closest friends is the single mother of a handicapped child. The other day she told me about taking this child to a doctor's appointment. I sat there in disbelief listening to the details. Her daughter is now 16 years old. Taking your 3-year-old handicapped child to the doctor is one thing, but once that child is almost a full grown adult, as big as her mother, the task takes on a whole new dimension.

Kathryn is profoundly disabled. You can't reason with her, you can't cajole her; you can't really communicate with her at all. My friend basically has to physically maneuver her into doing what is needed. When Kathryn decided between floors that she wanted to open the elevator doors and get out, my friend had to stop her, using every bit of strength in her body.

Although Kathryn has an entourage of people tending to her physical needs, my friend doesn't have anyone in her life to share in the sadness, the scary times, the decisions that need to be made, and conversely, she has no one to share in the small joys when Kathryn makes a little progress or smiles her big smile, or seems to finally grasp a concept she has been struggling with. She has no one to sing silly songs to Kathryn with, no one to go on the car rides that Kathryn loves so much -- she does this all by herself. But you know what? I have never, ever heard her complain about any of these things. Kathryn is her daughter and like any mother, she'll do whatever needs to be done to ensure the well-being of her child.

Now, my friend isn't a hero because she does what any mother would do. She is a hero because she does it all alone and never loses sight of what is really important. She loves Kathryn, and that is all that matters. Often, I ask myself what I would do in her shoes. Would I be that brave? Could I take care of a profoundly handicapped child alone for even an hour? Could I do it with a smile on my face and a song in my heart as she does? To be honest, I just don't know.

My friend is someone I look up to as a hero. She is a person I try to emulate when faced with a daunting task -- if she can do what she does, then I have nothing to complain or whine about. This spring, let's try to identify the true heroes in our lives and appreciate them, help them when possible, and try to pattern a bit more of our own lives after theirs.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- The Art of Imperfection

From our archives -- Saddle Up

From our archives -- Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Early Summer 2014 -- Embracing our Dormant Times

From our archives -- Taking Time to Listen

Late Spring 2014 -- Seeing More Clearly

Spring 2014 -- Savor What Makes Your Heart Sing

Early Spring 2014 -- The Power of Quotes

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

Holiday 2013 -- Taking the Time to Listen

Holiday 2013 -- Open our Hearts to the Good Around Us

Fall 2013 -- How to Cope in Tough Times

Late Summer 2013 - The Priceless Gift of Friendship

Midsummer 2013 -- My Luck is Pretty Good Luck

Early Summer 2013 -- Slow Down Enough to Smile

Late Spring 2013 -- Recognizing Gifts

Spring 2013 -- Doing the Best We Can

Early Spring 2013 -- Know Where You're Going

Holiday 2012 -- Our Power to Adapt

Fall 2012 -- Gratitude for What We Have

Early Fall 2012 -- See the Beauty in Front of Us

Late Summer 2012 -- Modify So It Works for You

Summer 2012 -- Finding Balance

Early Summer 2012 -- Go Ahead and Take that Risk!

Late Spring 2012 - Trusting Your Gut

Spring 2012 - Living Life to the Fullest

Early Spring 2012 - New Year, No Excuses

Winter 2011 - A Thoughtful Tip

Holiday 2011 - How Did I Get Here?

Fall 2011 - Giving Thanks for What We Already Have

Late Summer 2011 - Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Midsummer 2011 - Friends Through Thick and Thin

Early Summer 2011 - The Power of Nice

Late Spring 2011 - The Gifts of Spring

Spring 2011 - Worst Case Scenario

Early Spring 2011 - Break Away From the Herd

Winter 2010 - Lessons From Feral Kitty

Holiday 2010 - The Art of Imperfection

Fall 2010 - When the Student is Ready...

Late Summer 2010 - Saddle Up

Midsummer 2010 - Hurry Up and Wait

Early Summer 2010 - Don't Just Stand There. Do Something!

Late Spring 2010 - Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Taking That First Step

Early Spring 2010 - I Think it's Time

Winter 2009 - Choose Love, Not Fear

Holiday 2009 - Paying it Forward

Fall 2009 - You're Not Alone

Late Summer 2009 - "Searching" for Peace

Midsummer 2009

Early Summer 2009

Late Spring 2009

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Early Spring 2009

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Holiday 2008

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Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

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Late Spring 2008

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